Your questions answered by a  Hollywood professional

A bit of Hollywood humor 

Updated Oct 20, 2017

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Updated Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question

DcH, I get so frustrated when I see bad movies and can tell the scripts are just as bad, and I have such good scripts that nobody has turned into a movie.

Jake in Orlando

This week's Answer: 

 How to write a good bad script                                     

Well, obviously that's your problem, Jake.  You haven't been submitting bad enough scripts.  

You're going to need to stop pointing yourself towards excellence in screenwriting and come up with something that is far from that.  Luckily, I can help you with that.  First, you're going to need a derivative logline that's been covered a hundred or more times before, one that is very recognizable and allows for little imagination.  Then you're going to need some one dimensional characters that also offer nothing original.  And don't forget a bland love interest.  That's very important.  Whenever you don't know what to do next with your story, throw in a bunch of flashbacks.  And of course, at least one chase that goes too long and should most likely show some cars going after one another and one ends up hitting a gasoline tank and explodes.  Speaking of which, you definitely want to include fire and something burning down.  Smoke is good too.  And rain and thunder is good too when things get dull and you have to make your story look more exciting even though it's not.  Be sure to pit your hero against impossible odds that really would be impossible in real life except for some coincidental occurrence that saves the day in the nick of time.  

Oh, back to the love interest.  Have the hero and her fall in love immediately even though they really haven't had time to even get to know one another and have remarkable sex the very first time after they kiss just once.  And make sure your villain is really mean and hates the hero even though it's never quite clear why either of those facts are true.  And you're going to want your hero to have a sidekick who will surprisingly be killed even though it won't surprise anybody, so we can mourn for him even though we really didn't get a chance to get to know him.  And, of course, you'll need a mentor who seems to pop out of nowhere and has the information and possibly training that your hero happens to need right then to overcome the villain.  And don't forget to include a shock of having somebody who we trusted reveal themselves to actually be evil, which we will see coming a mile away.  And of course, there's the proverbial twist that is supposed to be the biggest surprise of all, the biggest change-up in the story that will really throw us for a loop, having never seen that coming.  

But we did.  Or... you could just keep writing good scripts and see if any of them get produced.

Now, that would be a good twist.


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